I’ve been working in an office environment for the past 6 months, and under the stringent schedule of working hours, namely 9 AM to 5 PM, although it’s usually till 6ish. Although this is a standard in the business world, I must say I’m not a fan.
Working from 9 to 5 straight with just a break for lunch in the middle, is just not a realistic proposition for anyone and I know I certainly don’t adhere to this rule. I’m here from 9 to 5, but I have to take breaks, do other things throughout the day to keep my energy up and stay productive. I take breaks where I go through my Google Reader, update my social media, read the news, and so on, and these sessions of personal time are just as important as my time devoted to work and of course I still manage to get my work done.
Its pivotal t to allow your employees these privileges as well, because in the end it gives your brain a break from the constant grind of a working environment. Think of the alternative, you would see employees zoning out, not paying attention to their work, and just waiting for it to be 5 PM so that they can leave, not exactly the mindset you want employees to be adhering to.
The Open Office
Furthermore, this formula of arriving to work at X and leaving at Y kills our creativity and spontaniety. Everyone gets inspired to do their work at some point during the day, and why force it to be during set hours that the company determines? I feel that as long as the work that is assigned gets done by the deadline, then there’s nothing else we can ask for.
To clarify, I’m not saying to get rid of the office by any means, but allow it to be an open office, a resource that is utilized when necessary, and always an option. A few things would be needed to ensure this works: consistent reports/updates with deliverables that show progress in assigned task, a clear understanding of the employee on what is expected, a method to assess quality of work and time spent, and of course weekly meetings or discussions to stay on track. All of this is really just to keep your employees motivated and not slack on their work.
Now if we can ensure deadlines are met, employees are not procrastinating, and communication is open (not an easy task, but feasible), then what is to stop us from implementing this open office environment?